Lending weight to proposals to start ‘testing’ elderly drivers every year, an 84-year-old priest has just made the front page of today’s popular tabloid after driving 1km in the wrong direction along a busy road, causing two accidents, before turning round and passing the mayhem he had caused as he returned without further incident to his home.
If one of his incredulous victims had not managed to take down father João Luís Fontes’ licence details, police may never have caught up with him, reports Correio da Manhã.
Bizarrely, the elderly cleric claimed to have no recollection of the incidents – neither of which caused any injuries – and was not in the least bit aware that he had been travelling at any point in the wrong direction.
As soon as he was made aware of what had happened, he is reported to have called his victims to apologise, said the paper.
This was in fact the second incident of its kind on Braga’s Avenida António Macedo in the last four months – leading the council to agree that it is time to study whether new signposts could be needed.
Meantime, Father João has had his driving licence suspended, pending physical and psychological testing.
Said one of his victims who only escaped a head-on collision by swinging to the right and hitting a school bus (“thankfully empty”): “I saw death right in front of me. The priest kept going and my car was spun round so that it was once again facing the right direction”.
The horror came as elsewhere the national federation of retired people is campaigning against stricter roadworthiness testing for seniors.